Minn. Legislature Bound For Budget Special Session

The Minnesota Legislature missed a midnight Sunday deadline for approving a plan to balance the state budget, sending lawmakers into an immediate special session. Legislative leaders said they had a settlement with Gov. Tim Pawlenty to fix a $3 billion deficit but ran out of time for lawmakers and the governor's staff to go over the details before voting on the bill. The special session was set to start Monday, just after midnight. Democratic leaders promised it would last a matter of hours. "We will vote upon this bill and we will be done with a balanced budget by sunrise," House Majority Leader Tony Sertich told reporters outside Pawlenty's office. Without a balanced budget, the state faces a cash crunch in the coming months. The Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature have deadlocked for days on a budget plan and over an extension of Medicaid health coverage to more poor Minnesotans using federal money.